Luxury watch group confirms flotation plan

Luxury watch group confirms flotation plan

Watches of Switzerland Group has confirmed its intention to proceed with an initial public offering (IPO) to support its growth strategy. The luxury watch retail business, which expects to float in early June, has operations across the UK and in the US.

After revealing an IPO was under consideration earlier this month, parent company Jewel UK Midco intends to apply for admission of its shares to the premium listing segment of the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority and to trading on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

The final offer price will be determined following a book-building process. New shares will be issued by the company to raise gross proceeds of approximately £155m with certain existing stakeholders also set to sell shares. In addition, it is expected that up to a further 15 per cent of the offer will be made available in relation to an over-allotment option.

“I am very pleased to confirm our intention to float Watches of Switzerland Group on the London Stock Exchange,” said chief executive Brian Duffy.

“Our transformation is complete, the group is now the UK’s leading luxury watch retailer and has successfully entered the significant, but underdeveloped US market.

“I am very excited for what lies ahead and the opportunity to take our growth strategy to the public markets.”

Watches of Switzerland Group believes that the offer will further support its growth plans by helping to reduce its current leverage and by enhancing its profile and brand recognition.

The move will also provide the group with a more permanent capital structure and access to a wider range of capital-raising options, while improving its ability to recruit, retain and incentivise key management and employees.

Watches of Switzerland has engaged Barclays Bank PLC, acting through its investment bank and Goldman Sachs International to act as joint global co-ordinators, joint bookrunners and joint sponsors, and BNP PARIBAS and Investec Bank plc to act as joint bookrunners.

NM Rothschild & Sons is acting as financial adviser to the company.

Watches of Switzerland Group sells luxury watches and jewellery through its Watches of Switzerland, Goldsmiths, Mayors and Mappin & Webb stores, mono-brand stores, together with a comprehensive e-commerce platform.

The group, which also has operations in the US, has long-standing relationships with luxury watch brands, including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Tag Heuer, Omega, Breitling, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, and other key suppliers.

It has nationwide store network of 125 stores across the UK and at Heathrow Airport, alongside 21 stores in the US.

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